Yiling Chen, Retail Trading Business Planner at BP Australia
A day in the life of…

Retail Trading Business Planner at BP Australia

Yiling Chen studied ​a ​Bachelor of Psychological Science & Masters of Management (Marketing) ​at Monash University & University of Melbourne in 2017, and is now a Retail Trading Business Planner at BP Australia.

7.20 AM

Snooze my alarm. I am definitely a minimum two alarms every morning person.

7.40 AM

Time to get up! I usually spend the next 10-15 minutes rushing around the house getting organised – get ready, brush my teeth, feed my cat, pack some muesli and yoghurt for breakfast etc before I walk to the train station.

8.00 AM

My daily train commute. It takes about 40 minutes so I use this time to scroll through social media and news.

8.40 AM

Arrive at the office and find my desk for the day – we flexi desk – fire up my laptop and check my emails. I like to get through all my unread emails on a Monday morning to make sure I have a handle on what I have on for the week. I also review my to-do list from last week to check what I need to carry over and write a new to do list for this week. This week’s priorities: a big piece of analysis on promotional effectiveness, complete the pre-work for my end of year review, start preparing handover documents for the new grad who will be taking over my role soon and close out some online training modules.

9.00 AM

Head upstairs for my team’s weekly huddle. After a brief chat about everyone’s weekend, we go around the table and share what we have on for the week that may impact others.

9.30 AM

Off to a second huddle! I am starting my second grad rotation next month in our strategy team and my new line manager has invited me to join their weekly huddles to start getting a feel for what the team does and what I might be involved in when I start. This is the first strategy team huddle I’ve joined and it’s all very exciting because a lot of their work focuses on the future direction of the company.

10.00 AM

Promotional planning meeting. This is a regular meeting with my team (retail category) and some other stakeholders from marketing. We use this time to collate all of our promotional activity for the next promotional period and align on what products and/or promotions will feature on our key marketing assets at site.

We always start by reviewing the promotional effectiveness report that I prepare, comparing data from for the same period last year. We use it to remind ourselves what worked well and what didn’t. Next, we go through what the category leads currently have planned including new product launches (which always sound delicious) and start assigning marketing assets. There is often a lot to discuss at this point. Today, the conversation centres around how much activity is currently happening in store. One of the category leads is thinking of running a staff incentive, but they have been asked to try and reschedule to another time period to avoid competing with a large promotion being run on our loyalty program.

12.00 PM

CAKE TIME! We’re celebrating my manager’s 20th year with BP today. His manager has booked a meeting room so we can surprise him. Twenty years with the same company! Amazing! I’ve also brought lunch in today so have brought that along.

12.45 PM

Check in with the vacation intern. I have been assigned as his ‘buddy’ so we grab a coffee and sit outside on the rooftop deck to discuss what he’s working on at the moment and debrief about the promotional planning meeting we attended earlier.

1.00 PM

Project meeting. For the past year I have been involved in rolling out parcel collection at many of our company owned stores. Last year, we had a meeting with the supplier to discuss the future of the offer and today’s meeting is an internal follow up.

There are a lot of stakeholders in the room: the services category lead, procurement, the retail operations excellence project tag, marketing and offer development tag, and retail marketing advisors. We have a very lengthy conversation about what phase two might look like, its feasibility and commerciality.

I’ve been given some actions to pull together some insights and test the commercial model we’ve just discussed. I head back to my desk to run some numbers around the commercials. We don’t have a lot of data points but I use parcel volume projections and some key assumptions to roughly calculate how much revenue the new model could bring us.

2.30 PM

Coffee catch up with our downstream senior talent advisor. I am interviewing her about her career journey at BP for #HumansofBP, an internal social media initiative that was started by my cohort of grads. It’s has been such an interesting way to meet new people in the company – each person has a completely different experience and story to share. I’m constantly surprised and often inspired by the variety of experiences and perspectives.

3.00 PM

Work work work. I’ve got a decent chunk of time left in the day to get stuck into my analysis piece on promotional effectiveness. I’m just finishing up the first phase, which is running data on all of the promotions we have run throughout the year and using a very complicated report that I inherited to figure out how effective each one was. The initial priority is to gather all the data points, but I’m looking forward to the next phase where I’ll be able to really delve into some analysis and hopefully come out with some insights to help inform the planning for the year.

5.00 PM

Time to log off, which is a blessing because my eyes are going a little blurry from staring at excel for too long! The new grads had their first day of induction today so I’m heading downstairs to their welcome drinks.

6.15 PM

Better head home, it is a Monday night after all. I remember that I didn’t leave until about 7pm last year when I was one of the new grads being welcomed…such a fun night getting to know everyone!

7.00 PM

I sneak in a quick workout and shower while dinner is being prepared (luckily it’s not my turn to cook tonight).

7.45 PM

Dinner.

8.00 PM

Finally, time to wind down with a bit of Netflix before bed. Hands down my favourite part about working life: not having to worry about homework or assignments once you get home!

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